Linker gets probation in plea deal
Joseph Linker, a former Eureka Springs resident who was arrested more than two years ago and charged with raping his live-in girlfriend, pleaded guilty recently to an amended charge of second-degree battery and was sentenced to six years of supervised probation.
Linker, 45, pleaded guilty to the felony second-degree battery charge as part of an agreement with prosecutors, who amended the original rape charge and agreed not to pursue felony charges of kidnapping, terroristic threatening and intimidating a witness as well as misdemeanor charges of interference with emergency communications and two counts of contempt of court.
In addition to probation, Linker was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and $290 in fees and court costs.
Special Circuit Judge Gary Arnold accepted the plea agreement and sentenced Linker during a hearing June 25 in Berryville.
Linker was arrested on May 24, 2019, after his former live-in girlfriend told police that he held her against her will and raped her multiple times on May 14-15 at the apartment they shared in Eureka Springs.
The alleged victim obtained a temporary order of protection against Linker in May 2019 but no permanent order was ever issued and the matter was dismissed at the alleged victimís request in November 2019.